Truly an amazing wonder of our wondrous world is our knowledge of the self. But do you care for and love your self as you ought to?
In today’s society, we have become so focused on our jobs, our families, our friends, our coworkers, our education, our finances, our possessions, our weekends, and so on and so forth – that we have become utterly negligent of the self.
We have become indoctrinated in the idea that this is selfishness. Too much focus on the self leads automatically to selfishness, arrogance, greed, corruption…and as such we become uncaring, socially unacceptable creatures unfit to walk amongst the rest of humankind.
But this is a lie that prevents us from getting to know ourselves. We are taught from an early age to share, and to think about others, and to consider the feelings of those around us. I am not saying that this is a bad thing in any way – but what we neglect to explore is the connection between the self and the person we are sharing with, how we think about ourselves, and considering our own feelings.
I must iterate here that there is nothing wrong with selflessness – except when it involves the utter lack of attention and energy to the self. When all you do is give, and sacrifice, and disregard your own needs and desires, you create an immense imbalance in your own energies. Balance is utterly necessary in life.
We have become creatures of extremes. Society places tremendous attention and focus on the opposites: male versus female, Republican versus Democrat, heterosexual versus homosexual, rich versus poor, fat versus thin, and so forth. But life is very seldom defined by the extreme opposites; most is balanced somewhere in the middle.
When it comes to time on the self and time for others, we cannot neglect the self and have balance. But because we are so acutely aware of these opposite extremes, we forget that there is a line between self care and selfishness, and that we cannot ignore the one because of fear of the other.
Self care, self love, and self talk are NOT selfish. They are utterly necessary. If we neglect the self and sacrifice our wellbeing, our happiness, and our desires just to be selfless, we are only hurting ourselves.
Selfishness on the one hand, sacrifice on the other are the extremes in regards to the self. The question is – where is the middle? That would be Compromise.
It is surprisingly easy to mistake compromise for sacrifice. The difference with regards to the self is simple – compromise is striking a balance between giving OF, taking FOR and holding FOR the self; whereas sacrifice is unbalanced with giving FROM, holding NOTHING and taking FROM the self.
If you do not find balance in giving to and taking for the self, then you might find you really do not know who you are. And our ability to really KNOW our self is truly a wonder of our wondrous world.
How do you feel about yourself?
(Note to the reader: If you also visit my blog, you will see that this week’s Pathwalking is a variation of this same post. I believe the topic of the self is so important, I wanted to spread it to a wider audience.)
Check out my blog, The Ramblings of a Titanium Don, for more of my work.